India’s sugar industry seeks to launch 100% ethanol-compliant vehicles

The Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA) has urged the government to immediately allow the manufacture of 100% ethanol-compliant vehicles rather than going through stages so that clean energy adoption happens at the earliest, reducing pollution and reliance on crude oil.

Citing the Brazilian model after taking a delegation to the South American country, ISMA President Aditya Jhunjhunwala said flexible fuel hybrid vehicles (FFVs) should be launched immediately, instead of launching E20 vehicles. , because these 100% ethanol-compliant vehicles can be tuned. initially to run on gasoline blended with 20 percent ethanol (E20). These FFVs can also work with any mix percentage above 20%, he said.

In a letter to the government, Jhunjhunwala said, “Building E20-compliant vehicles will take 8-10 years from launch date to cover the whole country.” For this reason, it seems difficult to achieve the goal of 20% blending by 2025, he said.

The Brazilian model

Currently, Brazil has three types of fuel dispensed at its gas pumps: gasoline blended with 27% ethanol, 100% ethanol, and a mixture of the two in any ratio according to the consumer’s choice. , did he declare. There is also gasoline blended with 25% ethanol, which is available at some outlets and marketed at a higher price, Jhunjhunwala said, adding that its sale was poor.

“In India, the pumps can initially dispense E10 (gasoline blended with 10% ethanol) and E20 fuel and in due course the E10 dispensing system can be used for pure ethanol ( 100 percent,” Jhunjhunwala said. Activity area. He also said that each year about 10% of vehicles are released on the road and that at this rate, it will take 10 years to change the entire fleet, whether for E20s or FFVs.

In Brazil, the manufacturing costs as well as the selling rates of the E20 and the FFVs are almost the same, but the FFVs offer an average of 20-22 km/litre. Although FFVs were introduced there in 2003, the country has achieved around 45% mixing. Even the cost of 100% ethanol is 35% cheaper than E27 fuel, he said.

“Investing in FFVs”

The ISMA Chairman also said that since these automakers are in the development stage for the launch of E20 vehicles, the automotive industry should consider investing in FFVs as the technology is already available.

Asked about the current scenario of reducing planting areas of paddy and maize, two key feedstocks for grain-based ethanol plants, Jhunjhunwala said he can ensure the ethanol target is met. sugar cane factories. Of the 1,700 crore liters needed to meet the 20% blending target, the government sees it coming from both sources in equal amounts – 850 crore liters each from grain and cane-based ethanol plants.

Dual-Feed Plants

However, the government has also promoted dual-feed factories so that units can switch to any raw material available if there is a shortage in one of them.

ISMA has also suggested the government allow generators to run on ethanol instead of relying on diesel to reduce pollution.

Published on

August 02, 2022

Rachel J. Bradford